Sacramento German Genealogy Society

The German Handshake Packet

The German Handshake Packet – letters of introduction to German speaking acquaintances from non-German speaking society members. SGGS has received many glowing reports from happy users ofthe German Handshake Packet following their return from researching their ancestors in German-speaking areas.
This packet is prepared by SGGS volunteers for those who are planning a trip to a German-speaking county, but who do not speak fluent German. The Packet's main features consist of two letters of introduction (travelers carry several copies of each), both written entirely in German. The first is a letter signed by the SGGS president, asking the letter's recipient to welcome the bearer as a valued member of the Sacramento German Genealogy Society. The other letter, signed by the SGGS member, introduces the member and relates that he/she is searching for ancestral information and will appreciate any suggestions or other assistance which the recipient of the letter might wish to offer.
Attached to this second letter is a personalized sheet of specific information about the ancestor whom the member is seeking, complete with their names, birth dates, birth places, places of residence in their homelands, and dates of emigration. Additionally, the packet includes an English translation of both letters for the traveler's sole use, and a list of instructions for using the Packet.
SGGS must receive all applications for German Handshake Packets 
at least 30 days before departure.
A German Handshake Packet can be ordered in three easy steps.
1) Click on the image below to display the order form. Print and fill out a copy of the form for each immigrant ancestor and enter all information in uppercase letters.
Click on above icon to download the order form.
2) This service is provided only for SGGS members since one of the letters identifies you as such. If you are not a member, you will become a member by filling out the membership form and providing the membership fee plus the $5 Handshake Packet fee. Click here to download the membership form.
3) Assemble your order to include the following:
  • payment (check or money order in U.S. Dollars payable to "SGGS")
  • one or more filled-out handshake packet order forms
  • if not a member then include member form plus payment
Send your order at least 30 days before departure to:
P.O. Box 660061
Sacramento, CA 95866-0061